Source: MarketWatch.com, by Darrell Delamaide
The dystopian classic, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” is streaming on Hulu, sparking lots of false comparisons between the misogynistic dictatorship in the miniseries and the presidency of Donald Trump.
Dystopia is here. It’s not just the “imagined place” of the dictionary definition or a future state of dystopian novels. It is very real and right now, at least for those of us trying to follow national politics.
And it’s not just Donald Trump. It’s Barack Obama, it’s Ted Cruz, it’s the New York Times, it’s Breitbart News. It is an alternate universe detached from the world we live in but intruding into it in painful and dangerous ways.
It is a media narrative of political conspirators colluding with a dictatorial archenemy, of an intemperate and delusional leader overturning the institutions of democracy, of a “deep-state” resistance to constitutional authority.
It is a dystopia of rampant hypocrisy, where obstructing legislation, supporting a law-enforcement official who strays beyond the limits of his authority, or boycotting a president’s appointments is evil and undemocratic until it’s your party that wants to do it.
Two dystopian classics have shot back to the top of best-seller lists because the media suggest the authoritarian surveillance societies they portray have arrived. The 1948 novel “1984” and the 1985 novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” are touted as descriptions of where we are headed under Trump.
While the author of “Handmaid,” Margaret Atwood, and the cast of the Hulu miniseries based on it see a Trump administration as the realization of the misogyny depicted in the novel, it’s obvious the U.S. is not about to become a Puritanical theocracy like that in the book.
Critics on both the left and the right dispute the media meme that “Handmaid” is a depiction of the Trump era.
Irish feminist Angela Nagle writes in the left-wing Jacobin magazine that it is neoliberal market forces that are oppressing women, not an imaginary theocratic state.
“The real-world dystopia for the majority of women in the age of Trump is not that they are being forced to have children by a repressive traditionalist state,” she wrote last week, “but that they’re being compelled not to by far more insidious forces, and those that do are financially and socially punished at every turn.”
We are ruled by myths, she continues, but not those in the miniseries. “The mythologies of our age in the West are not enforced by repressive theocratic regimes,” Nagle says, “but by the market command to be free, to be creative, to be flexible, to love what you do for even the most uninspiring of jobs.”
Right-wing media critic Brent Bozell also takes issue with “adoring” coverage of the series in the liberal mainstream media. “This is why conservatives tend to laugh when liberals rail against the scourge of ‘fake news,’” Bozell wrote last week in Townhall. “There is no faker news than the notion that America is on the precipice of a Puritan patriarchy under President Donald Trump.”
Read More Here: The American dystopia didn’t begin with Trump – MarketWatch